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TTC strike leaves riders furious, frustrated

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Age: 57
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:52 am    Post subject: TTC strike leaves riders furious, frustrated Reply with quote

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Joined: 27 Apr 2007
Posts: 497
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought it had been averted. Guess not. Sad Hope it doesn't last too long!
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Age: 57
Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: TTC strike leaves riders furious, frustrated Reply with quote

Apr 26, 2008 11:37 AM
Emily Mathieu, Scott Simmie, Noor Javed and Prithi Yelaja
Staff Reporters

A midnight strike by the TTC caught many people off guard, some showing up early this morning expecting a train, bus or streetcar only to find the lines abandoned.

Last night, clubgoers poured out of bars when news of the strike spread.

"No way, no way," Jorge Bayona, out with friends at Yonge-Dundas Square, said at 11:40 pm. "You're kidding me. We live an hour away."

The shock on his face escalated to panic, and he and his friends started trying to conjure up contingency plans.

Danielle Consett, 25, also expressed anger at the TTC's union for voting against the tentative agreement – in favour of a last-minute strike.

"It's a danger to society," she said. "It's selfish. We have rights, too. We have the right to know about a strike 48 hours in advance."

In subways, an announcement was made at 11:23 p.m. telling ticket collectors over their private intercom that service would be shutting down at midnight.

A public announcement didn't start until almost 11:30 p.m.

Many people showed up this morning at bus stops and subway stations on their way to work unaware there was a strike.

"It's closed?" asked Dora Loyuk, 27, watching someone try to open doors at College. "I had no clue..."

Loyuk was heading to work in the Richmond and Peter Sts. area. She said it will take her about a half an hour to walk.

"I'm going to have to call in and say there is no subway today. If they can give me more time to walk, then that's fine." p>At the Pape station, commuters who had not yet learned of the strike were stunned to find the doors locked.

"They should be shot," said one man, apparently stranded from reaching his job. "Some people have to work, you know," he said.

At the corner of Spadina Ave. and Bloor St. around 5:45 a.m., people stood in small clusters, drinking coffee and muttering about the TTC strike that took the city by surprise at midnight..

“Every derogatory English word you can think of does not properly describe the TTC,” said Steve Mills, standing outside a Tim Hortons coffee.

Mills walked from his home in Don Mills to get to work today. It took him an hour and 20 minutes to get downtown. Mill’s job is delivering flyers.

“So I’m going to be walking all day,” he said.

Mills said the TTC should not be allowed to go on strike.

“The needs of many should outweigh the needs of the few,” he said. “It’s going to cripple the city.”

Others had to find alternative means of transportation to get to work today.

"Not impressed," said Lynda McPherson. "I volunteered to come into work today to help out and I live in Mississauga."

McPherson only found out about the strike as she was preparing to leave for work. She had to drive in.

"It's going to cost me $15 for parking and $10 for gas at least."

McPherson said TTC workers already make too much money and the union doesn't serve them well.

"Sixty-five per cent is not a huge margin for approval," she said. "The union is out to serve themselves."

“Lucky I rented a car,” said Gordon Lenko, visiting from Montreal.

Lenko and his wife plan to spend the day in Hamilton, but have been using the TTC to get around the city the last couple of days. There are also acts of vandalism taking place as riders furious over the strike send a message to TTC workers.

At Union Station, someone spray-painted the steel doors of the TTC entrance at Bay and Front.

"If you want $30/hr," reads the blue spray paint, "go to university." Beneath it was crude drawing of a penis.

Similar vandalism, apparently by the person, marred the glass wall of a bus stop just a few metres away.

The line of taxis moved steadily as commuters denied 'The Better Way' chose what was for many the only way.

One woman, a visitor from Barrie who'd come to Toronto for an Anne Murray concert the previous night, was trying to get up to Yorkdale Mall to retrieve her car.

She negotiated a rate of $35 and climbed in. She wasn't happy about it.

Several people who spoke with the Star were angry there had not been more notice about the strike. One pointed out the average TTC worker already earns far more than he does and said he'd be happy to take a TTC job at existing wages. Even late this morning, news of the strike came as a shock to people trying to go about their day.

"I was waiting for the bus for 20 minutes said Kannan Subbu, standing at the bus stop with wife Kanchana and son Nirmalram, age 6. The frustrated father said last week he was closely watching strike discussions. "Last week we were prepared...," he said. "I promised my son I was going to take him to the zoo," he said. The TTC is his family's only method of transportation. "Interruption of such service with no notice is totally unacceptable."

Some TTC workers, on the job last night, expressed concern about their safety when asking people to leave the station, evident by the announcement heard at many stations:

“If you’re having difficulty closing your station, let us know,” said a ticket collector, who didn’t want to give her name.

One man, who tried to get on a southbound train after they had just closed off the service about 11:50 p.m., starting cursing at her.

“We have to stick together,” the ticket collector said. “If they are going to contract out with the maintenance people, where does it end?”

But other TTC workers were less sympathetic.

“It’s not right to do it at midnight, we should just shut down at 2:30 at the end of service,” said Wayne Cook, ticket collector at Ossington, swarmed by confused commuters. “Bob Kinnear has a lot to answer for, for the way he’s handled things.”
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